I know that I’m taking a major chance that I’m not going to have all the internet perverts finding this one in their Google searches, so, let me just clear the air and say: this post is not about that kind of discharging.
This is not the post you’re looking for. Move along. Move along.
Now that I can get down to business… Much to the delight, or perhaps chagrin… probably more like exasperation, of those near and dear to me, I’m accident prone. I won’t bore you all with the long list of concussions, breaks, cuts, slashes, and nearly-chopped-off bits, in lieu of regaling you with the saga of my latest injury. Why? Because scars have the best stories, of course!
Picture it, a freezing cold, lousy-“Smarch”-morning in Wisconsin and I new I needed to check the goats water tank as we went from 80-degree temps down to freezing in a matter of a day. My footwear of choice for chore-duty are my rubber barn boots, effective at keeping my feet clean and dry; not, however, great at protecting piggies.
There I was before the water tank, a layer of ice had formed on the surface and I thought, “It doesn’t look that thick. A good kick outta break it up.”
So, I kicked it. The first time I kicked it my aim was off and my instep slide to the side and I caught my ankle on the tank and thought, “Damn, that’ll be a bruise.” The second time I kicked it, I nailed it straight on, heard a snap in piggie number two on the right foot which felt like hitting the funny bone on something, and I thought, “Well shit! THAT hurt!” So, I decided to turn around and give that tank one good “mule kick”. The ice broke up, I was satisfied, and I went about my day with a sore ankle and toe. No big whoop.
It’s cool. We’re cool. I meant to do that.
Weeks passed and the ankle healed up right away, but my toe give me reason to twitch once in awhile, like stepping on the trash can pedal to throw something away. But, I was walking, running, and hiking on the foot just fine. No muss, no fuss.
Then, this last Sunday I got into bed and my toe was throbbing. On a pain scale of 1 to 10 this was at least a 9, I wasn’t crying yet, but I certainly wasn’t sleeping well at all. Upon waking from what little amount of sleep I did get, I found my toe swollen and red. I racked my brain to figure out what I could have done on Sunday to make my toe hurt so much. Then I remembered kicking the tank weeks ago. Damn. Had I broken my toe and it was just NOW getting angry? I buddy-taped the offended two to it’s neighbor with the intent to call my doctor that day and then immediately forgot to call the doctor.
Tuesday came and the toe was still all swelled up, red, and angry and I called right away to get in. I was told to go to Urgent Care, where they’d made me an appointment, and with minimal waiting to get seen, I was in an exam room and talking to a doctor who looks like Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods.
My poor toe was pinched, poked, and prodded. I gripped the sides of the exam table and was asked where I’d rate the pain on the pain scale. And after a few more pokes, prods, and questioning, I was sent to X-Ray.
I love X-rays!
I love X-rays; I have since I worked at a vet clinic. So, after taking shots of my foot and toe from a variety of angles, including some toe yoga just to get the angry toe in view, I was whisked back to the exam room where I played Dots on my phone as I wanted for the doctor to come back.
He swept into the room with a look on his face that told me, A) he was perplexed, and B) this was going to take longer than I had hoped. One of the X-rays was pulled up and as I looked intently at my skeleton foot, the doctor pointed to a translucent area on top of my toe. The radiologist, and he, didn’t know what it was, but they suspected something called “periosteal reaction”.
In other words – I HAD broken my toe, but it was so slight that I didn’t notice it – however, the new bone growth that happens with breaks was irritating the tissue around it. Awesome!
Then I was sent back to X-ray. They wanted another shot of just that toe again and this time, the radiology tech, radiologist, and I went all MacGyver on my foot. I was pulling my big toe one way with my left hand while we’d strapped clear tape around the three small toes that didn’t need to be in the shot so I could pull them out of the way in the opposite direction. For good measure, a tongue depressor was wedged between toes two and three to further isolate it from the others. This was all hilariously painful, because who knew trying to get an image of a toe would involve so much equipment and involve that much laughing! Also, it hurt.
Once more back into the exam room, I resumed my Dots playing until the doctor came in and said that the second image has them convinced that I had a periosteal reaction happening. I was going to need an orthopedic shoe to immobilize my toe as much as possible (buddy taping only made the toe more angry). It was the shoe or crutches, so… shoe please. Then I was told to stay off the foot as much as possible, ice the toe, pop some ibuprofen, and have it rechecked in a few weeks.
Great. How do I stay off of my foot for 4 weeks? I’m a terrible patient!
Then I saw what the actual discharge instructions said: don’t do any activities that hurt.
Nothing about staying off the foot entirely. So, look out Sunday – cause we’re hiking again!